learning

A childhood discovery and a journey of 1500 pages

 

CEO Message

 

A childhood discovery and a journey of 1500 pages

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEOI was a barefoot third-grader, playing with hula hoops in a friend’s garage in Āina Haina, when I spied a stack of old comic books.

 

That was my unlikely introduction to Les Misérables. The foreign words were on the cover of a Classics Illustrated comic book, where a man carrying another was running from pursuers in a rat-infested tunnel.

 

My playmate and I dropped our hoops and hunched over that top book in the stack. The drawings were dramatic – and even more striking were the words, painting the story of a man who was both hero and crook, good and bad, trusted and untrustworthy, long-suffering and impatient, a man who hated and loved.

Comic book cover art of Victor Hugo's Les MisérablesWe’d found a magic comic book that was not the usual kid stuff of bright, positive absolutes.

 

Even though the story was set far away and long ago, it resonated deeply. It spoke to the confusing contradictions I’d already experienced in my young life – a father who promised to be home at night but rarely was; an admired teen scholar/ athlete who kicked his dog when he thought no one could see; and the much-feared school bully who was understanding and even gracious when I accidentally hit him in the face with a kickball.

 

A couple of years later, during summer vacation, I wanted more than the comic book version of Les Misérables. As it turned out (just my luck!), the hardcover novel is one of the longest books in European literature, nearly 1,500 pages. On top of that, I needed to have a second book handy, the dictionary. I still remember the first of many words I looked up: morass.

 

Reading the novel sometimes felt like slogging through a morass. Author Victor Hugo would digress into long, detailed histories – of the Battle of Waterloo, the construction of Paris sewers and more. Those parts, I skimmed.

 

However, I was forever held by the main story line which famously starts with Jean Valjean sent to prison for stealing bread to feed his widowed sister’s seven children. The story enveloped me in a world in which I was often trying to decipher the boundaries of right and wrong, good and evil, war and peace, love and hate.

 

Later, when I covered poverty as a journalist, I would return to Les Misérables to re-read this stinging quote: “There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.”

 

Since childhood, I’ve always been eager to see new adaptations of Les Misérables, on stage and screen. I hope you’ll join me in spirit, on the community sofa, to view this latest PBS television presentation.

 

Les Misérables on MASTERPIECE

Sundays at 8:00 pm
April 14 – May 19, 2019
on PBS Hawaiʻi

 

Learn more about Les Misérables
in our program guide cover story by
Jody Shiroma, VP of Communications, PBS Hawaiʻi.

 

Aloha Nui,

Leslie signature


 

 

 

POV
306 Hollywood

POV: 306 Hollywood

 

306 Hollywood is a magical realist documentary of two siblings who undertake an archaeological excavation of their late grandmother’s house. They embark on a journey from her home in New Jersey to ancient Rome, from fashion to physics, in search of what life remains in the objects we leave behind.

 

Preview

 

 

 

PERSONAL STATEMENT: America Reframed

 

Follow three low-income teens in Brooklyn who take it upon themselves to make a difference by becoming peer college counselors in their schools. They are high school seniors who are fighting to defy the odds not only for themselves but for every single one of their classmates, becoming the very resource they don’t have themselves.

 

 

What if… ? Post-it® notes full of questions

 

CEO Message

 

What if... ? Post it® notes full of questions. Ian Kitajima, Chair, new PBS Hawaii Board Committee on Innovation/Futures

Ian Kitajima, Chair, new PBS Hawai‘i Board Committee on Innovation/Futures

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEOAlbert Einstein might have gotten a kick out of attending a monthly meeting of our newest Board committee. After all, he said:

 

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask – for once I knew the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”

 

Our Board Committee on Innovation/Futures may be as passionate about questions as Dr. Einstein, but its questions are a group discipline and the pace tends to be fast. One committee member’s question will ignite a question from another member, and so on. Questions are jotted down as soon as they come to mind. In three monthly meetings so far, the committee has filled up enough Post-it notes to paper a small room.

 

Question after question after question: “Who defines quality and what is it?”; “Does high quality equate to sustainability?”; Will the need to consume fast media outweigh the need for quality media?”; “What are our metrics? Do we need new ones?”; “What are the new distribution models and their impact?”; “What is the best use of LIVE?”; “Where is the intersection between public service and innovation?”

 

PBS Hawai‘i Board Chair Jason Fujimoto established this new Board committee to discern opportunities and threats amid the disruptions in a world of rapid change.

 

Committee Chair Ian Kitajima, who explains his day job as a “tech sherpa” at problem-solving company Oceanit, says his approach is to get out of the rut of common assumptions and sharpen the questions. His committee is mostly composed of non-Board members who hold jobs in strategy and are veterans of training in design thinking. Some staffers participate, too.

 

Design thinking seeks to understand users, challenge assumptions and redefine problems, in trying to identify alternate strategies and solutions. Let’s see what they come up with in reimagining elements of your PBS Hawai‘i.

 

Mahalo to members of Ian’s PBS Hawai‘i Board Committee on Innovation/Futures: Stacy Clayton, Brian Dote, Justin Hernandez (California), Aaron Kagawa, Ryan Kanno (Japan), Kevin Kawahara, Ravi Pare and Huy Vo.

 

We can’t claim Dr. Einstein as a committee member, but his attitude permeates the room: “The important thing is not to stop questioning…. Never lose a holy curiosity.”

 

Aloha nui,

Leslie signature


 

 

Ex Libris:
The New York Public Library

 

Frederick Wiseman’s film, Ex Libris – The New York Public Library, goes behind the scenes of one of the greatest knowledge institutions in the world and reveals it as a place of welcome, cultural exchange and learning. With 92 branches throughout Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, the library is a resource for all the inhabitants of this multifaceted and cosmopolitan city, and beyond.

 

 

GROWING BOLDER
The Magic of Mentoring

 

There is no denying that something magical happens when older people get together with children. The assumption is that the kids are the ones who benefit most, but before jumping to any conclusions you’ll want to see what happens when William Jones, recently retired, makes his way to the Joe R. Lee Eatonville Boys & Girls Club to volunteer his time mentoring the children. See why William tells us that every time he gives back to the community he is inspired, fulfilled and always a little surprised!

 

 

Most Likely to Succeed

 

Most Likely to Succeed examines the history of education in the United States and reveals the shortcomings of conventional education in today’s modern world. The documentary also follows students at High Tech High, a network of San Diego charter schools that promotes hands-on, project-based learning, with the goal of producing real-world workforce and life skills.

 




Cyber-Seniors

 

Follow a group of senior citizens who take their first steps into cyber-space under the tutelage of teenage mentors. Their digital exploration reaches a new level in a spirited YouTube competition that reveals hidden talents and competitive spirits.

 

Life Lessons from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – for Adults, Too!

Life Lessons from Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood – for Adults, Too!

 

Leslie Wilcox, President and CEO of PBS HawaiiDaniel Tiger looks more like a stuffed animal than a sage. But he’s as wise as he is fuzzy.

 

In the animated TV show, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – built upon Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood – Daniel Tiger shares simple life lessons that help toddlers deal with very real issues, such as disappointment, anger and jealousy.

 

Their parents say the shows provide counsel and reinforcement for them, too.

 

“I wish I could have had a show like that when I was young,” a father told me. “My favorite was the episode about being bullied.”

 

I heard that sentiment again and again at PBS Hawai‘i’s recent Keiki Club parties, as Daniel Tiger mingled with the excited toddler set.

 

“I admit it. I watch the show with my sons,” a mom told me. “And I find myself taking Daniel’s advice. It’s easy to remember, with those little songs that he and his friends sing.”

 

Oh, I know. I recall a heated discussion in the office. It ended with laughter, when a staffer chanted: “When you feel so mad, that you want to roar, take a deep breath, and count to four. 1, 2, 3, 4.”

 

The staffer was channeling Daniel Tiger, of course. The show shares social-emotional skills for preschoolers.

 

Feeling left out, sadness, frustration – these emotions can intrude at any time in life. Daniel Tiger faces these challenges and more with a knowing and positive spirit. He understands that sometimes kids don’t feel like brushing their teeth; potty-training can be awfully tricky; and it can be hard to say you’re sorry.

 

I asked a four-year-old what she learned from her buddy Daniel.

 

“Everyone is big enough to do something,” she answered proudly. “I’m big enough to clean up my toys by myself.”

 

Her mother commented, “I actually found myself thinking about Daniel Tiger during all this negative election stuff. We need to be more kind.”

 

As her child made a new friend in the Keiki Club, her mother added: “I told her that she needs to learn her manners; she wouldn’t want to turn out to be rude and mean, like some of the adults we see on the TV news.”

 

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood airs daily at 9:00 and 9:30 am on PBS Hawai‘i.

 

Aloha a hui hou,
Leslie signature

 

 

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